From the Editor

From the Editor

Charles MacLean

16 March 1999

Publication: Issue 2

The week before Christmas we received official confirmation from the Scotch Whisky Association – the Scotch whisky trade’s governing body – that drinking whisky is good for you. Good news indeed. The research, which was carried out by the famous Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen in conjunction with The Technical University of Denmark, effectively extends the discovery, not long ago, that ‘moderate drinking of red wine may reduce the risk of heart attack’. Remember this joyful news? The original research sought to explain why the French, with their joie de vivre and high-fat diet, have healthier hearts than most of the rest of us, and concluded that there was a direct correlation between this and red wine consumption. It is known as ‘The French Paradox’. The recent findings, let us call them ‘The Scotch Paradox’, indicate that whisky is even more effective than red wine in raising antioxidants in the blood and thus combating coronary heart disease.One up for wicked living, as they say in St Andrews. Although, as responsible publishers, we must stress that the benefits won from drinking a
couple of glasses of whisky a day can be compromised by drinking much more than this.We will be investigating all this in future issues. In this issue, however, we focus on the value and collectibility of whisky. Jonathan Goodall and John D Lamond take a look at what makes individual bottles so desirable to collectors, while Jim Budd examines the other side of the coin: investment scams.Old bottles of whisky (not to mention old whisky in new bottles) have been fetching good prices at Christie’s over the last five or six years, and the trend is upwards. So before you heave the cork and Hoover that ancient bottle of malt left to you by granny, be aware that you might be able to exchange it for a cellar-full of contemporary whiskies.What, though, about whole casks? This is a different matter. For all kinds of reasons the cry here is ‘caveat emptor’, and when fraud on the part of the companies arranging the purchase of casks is added to the mix – and several such companies have been, and are being, investigated – investors have to be very careful indeed.Frankly, we believe that whisky is there to be enjoyed for its flavour and its effect: a natural, God-given gift. We hope this issue of Whisky Magazine will enhance your enjoyment of the dram in your glass. Slainte!

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